14 days quarantine for international travellers arriving in Beijing
SHANGHAI/BEIJING: China has tightened checks on international travellers at Beijing airport and said it will centrally quarantine all arrivals at its capital, after new imported coronavirus cases surpassed locally transmitted infections for a second day.
China, where the epidemic began in December, appears to now face a greater threat of new infections from outside its borders as it continues to slow the virus' spread domestically.
Mainland China reported 20 new cases of infections on March 14, up from 11 cases a day earlier, data from the National Health Commission showed yesterday.
Of those, 16 were imported, including five in Beijing. Three of the cases in Beijing involved travellers from Spain while one came from Italy and the other from Thailand.
Against this background, the Beijing government has said anyone arriving from abroad will be transferred to city quarantine facilities for 14 days, starting today.
All expenses during the period will be borne by those in quarantine, city deputy secretary general Chen Bei said.
Some may be allowed to quarantine themselves at home after strict evaluation, Mr Chen added, without offering details.
The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China rose to 80,844. The death toll reached 3,199 as of the end of Saturday.
South Korea yesterday reported 76 new coronavirus cases and three deaths, marking it the first time in over three weeks that new cases have dropped to double digits, as President Moon Jae-in declared the hardest hit provinces "special disaster zones".
It is the first time South Korea has declared a region a disaster zone from an infectious disease and under the status the government can subsidise up to 50 per cent of restoration expenses and exempt residents from taxes and utility payments.
South Korea, which has the highest number of cases in Asia after China, now has 8,162 confirmed infections and 75 deaths, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said .
South Korea has been experiencing a downward trend in new cases and the latest numbers are significantly lower than the peak of 909 cases reported on Feb 29 and down from the 107 recorded on Saturday. - REUTERS